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Restorative Justice...the rainbow way?? Rainbow Circle


see: Rainbow Circle AGM 2005


 

From:  wizardsatlarge@yahoo.co.uk
To: rainbow-circle@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [rainbow-circle] Restorative Justice...the rainbow way??
Date: 04 October 2005 05:36

Hi everyone, this is Lisa..First sending BIG LOVE to all you lovely 
people out there....Second, opening a discussion about restorative 
justice. 



I see restorative justice as a valuable healing tool, just that...a 
tool, it may not solve all our issues on site but i think it is a 
good way to begin the process, what do you think? 

In a pioneering and exploratary spirit, i need your help. We need to 
devise our own 'Justice Initiative' 

Here are some bits that i have pasted from the Centre for 
Restorative Justice. You can go there to find out more. I would 
appreciate your thoughts on this as i put together the practical 
bits.

 
"What is restorative justice?


Restorative Justice is an old idea with a new name. Its roots can be 
found in Aboriginal healing traditions and the non-retaliatory 
responses to violence endorsed by many faith communities.

It represents a return of the simple wisdom of viewing conflict as 
an opportunity for a community to learn and grow. It operates on the 
premise that conflict, even criminal conflict, inflicts harm, and 
therefore individuals must accept responsibility for repairing that 
harm. Communities are empowered to choose their response to 
conflict. Victims, offenders and communities actively participate in 
devising mutually beneficial solutions, and implementing those 
solutions. Conflicts are resolved in a way that restores harmony in 
the community members' relationships, and allows people to continue 
to live together in a safer, healthy environment.

Restorative justice is ...
... a philosophy which views harm and crime as a violation of people 
and relationships.
... a holistic process that addresses the repercussions and 
obligations created by harm, with a view to putting things as right 
as possible.
... best practiced when guided by restorative values and principles 
and when those most affected are the focus."


There is a lot of useful information available on the web about how 
this process can be used in school's and prison's to put things 
right and help to repair relationships, but let's hear about the 
Aborigines on this one.

"Paper presented at the 6th International Conference on Restorative 
Justice, June 2003:


There are three elements that greatly assist in the full realization 
of Aboriginal justice initiatives: 

(1) the extent to which the program is designed and implemented by 
Aboriginal people; 
(2) the extent to which the program is supported by the Aboriginal 
community; 
(3) the extent to which the program is based upon culture, customs 
and traditions of the respective First Nation Community. 

One such Aboriginal justice initiative is Qwi:qwelsto`m  the Sto:lo 
Nation justice program.

Qwi:qwelsto`m is the Halq`eme`1ylem word that best 
describes "justice" according to the Sto:lo worldview. It reflects 
a "way of life" that incorporates balance and harmony, it is a way 
of helping one another to survive and to care and share amongst all 
people; it is a form of justice that focuses on relationships and 
the interconnectedness of all living life (oral tradition).

Qwi:qwelsto`m currently serves two functions. First and foremost, it 
is a means by which the Stol:lo people are given an opportunity to 
assert our inherent right to be self- determining and, therefore, 
the right to experience "justice" according to Sto:lo customs and 
traditions. It is a means by which "justice" is brought back to the 
people in the sense that they are given an opportunity to play 
meaningful roles in not only the problem, but also the solution.

Qwi:qwelsto`m is about being responsible. A person who has caused 
harm is given the opportunity to take responsibility within a forum 
that focuses on maintaining ties and community connections.
Most of the work involved with Qwi:qwelsto`m is done through "circle 
work" where Elders play a role and family is the center of all 
activities. Of the Sto:lo, this forum of relating to others is safe, 
non-confrontational and provides an equal voice to all participants. 
It is also inherently spiritual, which often encourages and 
facilitates healing."

So i would suggest that for Restorative Justice to work for the 
rainbow circle we should consider the following...

There are three elements that greatly assist in the full realization 
of Rainbow Circle justice initiatives: 

(1) the extent to which the program is designed and implemented by 
Rainbow Circle people; 
(2) the extent to which the program is supported by the Rainbow 
community; 
(3) the extent to which the program is based upon culture, customs 
and traditions of the respective Community.

Maybe we need another name too....


 
Lisa XXXX




 

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